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Stamp Scam: HC upholds scientific tests
March 05, 2004 15:31 IST
Last Updated: March 05, 2004 15:42 IST
In a significant verdict, the Bombay high court on Friday upheld a special court order allowing the Special Investigating Team to conduct scientific tests on the accused in the fake stamp paper scam, including alleged kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi.
Justice V B Palshikar and Justice P V Kakade rejected an appeal filed by six accused urging for a direction to restrain the SIT from subjecting them to brain-finger printing, lie detector and narco-analysis tests. They are Anil Gote (MLA from Dhule), suspended officer of India Security Press Ramachandra Rama Reddy, advocate Rasheed Kulkarni, stamp agent Manoj Mehta, suspended police officers Dilip Kamath and Dattatraya Dal.
The high court had earlier temporarily restrained the SIT from conducting the tests on these accused after they challenged the December 15 order of a special court in Pune, which allowed the SIT to conduct P-300 brain-finger printing, lie detector and narco-analysis tests.
Defence lawyers Dipesh Mehta and Sayaji Nangre said these tests involved injecting chemicals in the body and the accused could not be forced to undertake them. The tests, they said, violated the Constitution, which has lain down that an accused could not be forced to become a witness against himself.
The SIT's counsel, T R Andyarjuna and Raja Thakre denied the tests violated Article 20 (3) of the Constitution, or that they amounted to testimonial compulsion. The tests would merely help in giving direction to the investigation.